Party in Xiaogan

After spending several days in Wuhan doing our official marriage paperwork, we were ready for a party.  Tian and I took a 1.5 hour bus ride to her hometown of Xiaogan, where her parents were throwing us a celebratory lunch reception on June 26.  It was to be the first big wedding event of the summer.

Tian’s parents had worked hard on all the preparations for months. The biggest job was inviting people, which in China involved personalized home visits, phone calls, and invitations as well as gifts of good cigarettes and “xi tang” (happiness candies).  It must have worked because we learned that they had amassed a small army of extended family and close friends to join the party.

Giving family, friends, and acquaintances a bag of “Xi Tang" is a big wedding tradition. Even strangers will ask you for it if they learn you are married.

Fortunately, I was able to get two more foreign names added to the guest list, my brother Dan and his friend Fro.  For most of June they had been traveling southwestern China and Tibet.  It worked out great for them to come to Xiaogan for a few days.  In fact, they were looking forward to relaxing in one spot for a while.  They even were able to find a hotel very close to Tian’s parents’ home. I was grateful that Dan was able to be a part of this big life event.

We picked Dan and Fro up at the train station. This was the last leg of 3-day train travel from Tibet.


One comment

  1. Great talking with you today. It is so interesting to share in the traditions of a Chinese wedding: especially since this time it involves people I know and love!! The traditions have more meaning. How nice for your guests to get to share in these traditions. What a rich traveling experience! And how nice for us blog readers who have been able to follow this saga (maybe a book or how about a TV series? Reality TV?) Much love.

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